The first tenders worth almost $4 million for the Territory Labor Government’s Room to Breathe program – to build additional living spaces onto existing houses – will be released this week to improve remote housing and create local jobs.
In meeting with locals in Ampilatwatja today, the Minister for Housing and Community Development Gerry McCarthy said jobs will be created in remote communities when Indigenous businesses are awarded the first tenders of nearly $4 million for the Room to Breathe program.
"We have done extensive community consultation with remote Indigenous communities to listen to what additional living spaces families need to ease overcrowding while allowing them to continue to live together," Mr McCarthy said.
"We have listened and we are taking action to create jobs, improve housing and build strong communities that benefit every Territorian."
Indigenous businesses will tailor the building design to families’ needs to make houses more liveable.
"We expect the first tenders for this work to be awarded from 18 April and work to start in May," Mr McCarthy said.
Over 50 families will benefit from these works in:
- Ramingining and
A further $6 million of tenders, including for Ampilatwatja, will be released over the next two weeks.
"We fast tracked $10 million to this financial year to get Room to Breathe off the ground in 24 communities identified with high rates of overcrowding and with Indigenous businesses that could do the work," Mr McCarthy said.
"We went to the election with a 10-year, record $1.1 billion remote housing program, as well as a commitment to work with locals to provide appropriate housing.
"The Territory has significant housing problems that have severely impacted many Territorians for too long."
Room to Breathe will be guided by local decisions, with the work done by Indigenous businesses to ease overcrowding, create local jobs and build the local economy.
"Local people make the best decisions about their future and issues that impact them," Mr McCarthy said.
“This is the first step to local decision making to improve outcomes in remote Indigenous communities.
"When our remote communities and regions are strong, the Territory is strong."
The Room to Breathe works in this financial year will focus on building additional living spaces that do not require water and sewerage infrastructure, as well as households with larger families, the elderly or people with special needs.
The fast tracked $10 million for Room to Breathe will roll into the Territory Government’s ten year record $1.1 billion remote housing program which will start in July.